News has broke that Marvel Television is in the early development stages to bring Cloak & Dagger to the cable television network ABC Family, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Incredible Hulk is also being developed for TV.
Hulk is one of two projects that are priorities at Marvel Television, Marvel Studio’s TV division, which has been operating under the radar since Jeph Loeb took the reins at the end of June.
The second hot property is “Cloak and Dagger,” which is being developed for ABC Family.
Both are in the early stages of development; Hulk has a “showrunner wanted” placard around its neck. ABC had no comment. Meanwhile, Loeb is meeting with writers to hear ideas for “Cloak and Dagger.”
Marvel began narrowing it list of possible TV adaptations in May with a presentation on the Disney lot. Executives presented ABC suits with a list of titles they identified as possible series.
Ironically, “Cloak and Dagger” wasn’t on the list. (Hulk was.)
Although the focus appears to be on “Hulk” and “Cloak and Dagger,” “Punisher” also has been selected from the herd and is eyed as a cable play, but that is even further away. Marvel’s TV division wants to take things slow, according to insiders, focusing on one or two shows, making sure they are the best they can be and establishing a quality brand before moving forward.
Marvel is in the middle of establishing a shared universe with its movies (the pics and the characters form one big story), but it’s unknown whether the studio will undertake a similar path with TV. Also unknown is whether there would be a connection between the film world and TV world.
The duo created by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan have had a couple of brushes with getting adapted to film or TV prior to this announcement.
In 2004, a Cloak & Dagger direct-to-DVD animated movie was included in a pitch for a bid at a partnership with Marvel Entertainment. It didn’t go any further than that when the contract ended up going to another production company, Lions Gate Entertainment, which resulted in a deal for 8 animated movies, including Ultimate Avengers, The Invincible Iron Man, Planet Hulk and others, all direct-to-DVD.
Then in 2006, Marvel Entertainment mentioned a Cloak & Dagger feature film in its updated movie plans for shareholders. It and seven other properties, including Power Pack, were “to be developed by Marvel” with no other details given. Four years passed with no further mention of either property at Marvel Films.
Of course this was all before the purchase of Marvel Comics by the Walt Disney Company in January and Marvel ramping up its TV division this past summer. Hopefully third time will be a charm.